ALSO NOTED: Appeals court overturns $32M Vioxx award; One-drug stockpiles 'not enough' for pandemic flu;

> A Texas appeals court overturned a Vioxx jury verdict, ruling in favor of Merck and negating damages originally set at $32 million. Judges said there was "insufficient evidence" supporting the jury's verdict. Release

> The H5N1 strain of bird flu is growing resistant to Tamiflu, the Roche drug stockpiled by governments all over the world in preparation for a possible pandemic; experts now advise countries to stockpile a competing antiviral, Relenza, as well. Report

> Counterfeit drugs in India are becoming such a problem--with an estimated 5 percent to 20 percent of meds sold being fake--that the government may start paying a premium for drugs made by companies with at least one factory approved by foreign inspectors. Report

> The Australian government is moving toward an industry-funded drug-regulatory committee, to the consternation of pharma and public health experts alike. Report

> Health ministers from around the world will meet next week during the World Health Assembly to debate patent rules that developing countries say keep life-saving medicines out of their hands. Report

> For the first time, more than half of insured Americans are taking prescription drugs for chronic health problems, particularly high blood pressure and cholesterol. Report

> Cambridge Major Laboratories is set to build a new 120,000-square-foot plant in Wisconsin, in a bid to expand into large-scale active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing. Report

> Sepracor's CFO David P. Southwell resigned, to be replaced by Executive Vic e President Robert Scumaci. Release

> Salix Pharmaceuticals is suing Novel Laboratories for patent infringement over the bowel-cleansing med MoviPrep. Report

> Palatin Technologies is cutting about a third of its workforce and dumping one of its lead development programs--an effort to find a better tolerated successor to sildenafil. Layoff report

> The analysts devoted to tracking biotech companies in the oncology arena will have their hands full tonight at 9 p.m. EST. That's when ASCO will do an online data dump in advance of its annual meeting, revealing many of the little--and big--details that could spell swift gyrations in the value of a company's shares. ASCO report

> Recruiting the right number of the right patients for any clinical trial can be a tough prospect. Now there are a host of new efforts to match a patient with a clinical trial, including a service offered by the for-profit company EmergingMed. Clinical trial report

> You can file the following under the category of really, really bleak forecasts: The rising cost of healthcare in the developing world matched by an aging population is creating a perfect storm for drug developers that threaten their entire industry. Report

And Finally... An expensive drug used to treat the genetic disorder phenylketonuria may also be effective at treating enlarged hearts. Report

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